More from TFM&A.
The effectiveness of advertising travel products on social network sites is still up for discussion – users are coming to the sites to interact, not transact.
Enter stage left Blake Chandlee, UK commercial director for Facebook, keynoting to an eager audience.
[Not that Facebook is a social network site, by the way – "it's a utility to help members manage their relationships, a social media platform", apparently]
Chandlee bigged not only Facebook but the social media(utility) sector generally.
Live demos of products and scary growth charts galore, but things got really interesting in the Q&A when a figure from the back mentioned the m-word – monetisation.
The banner ads on Facebook, sold through Microsoft, we know about, but Chandlee introduced a different revenue stream – targeted ads within a member's profile.
"We want to integrate ads into the conversation," he says.
He pulled up his own profile on screen, which featured a video ad for a film which had been mentioned by a friend who had added a review of the movie to her own page.
The connection is obvious – less so the return on investment for these ads, which are to be sold on a CPM basis. If a friend tells me about a great holiday they've had in New York, an ad for New York might appear.
Earlier, Chandlee mentioned that social media was changing the dynamics of search – suggesting that members are starting to ask their "social graph" for travel inspiration rather than Google.
If this trend develops, and Facebook can offer travel suppliers genuinely targeted ads, could social media sites start to steal some of search's fire?
Co-incidentally, I picked up a copy of a magazine called Brand Management just after Chandlee's session which included a Q&A with Lastminute.com's chief marketing officer Simon Thompson. "PPC annual cost inflation within the travel category is now close to outrageous," he says.
So will targeted ads within social media sites exploit concerns over the cost of PPC?
Chandlee kept referring to Facebook's 23-year-old founder Mark Zuckerburg as a visionary.
Visionary enough to threaten search's dominance on online marketing spend? Not so sure...
Martin Cowen, chief writer, Travolution
Technorati tags: facebook microsoft social network
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
More from TFM&A.